To me, the stem cells within a germline are a perfect storm of fascination. Stem cells are, of course, intriguing in their ability to self-renew and differentiate, and a germline is intriguing in its ability to generate gametes. Add stem cells and germlines together, and you have amazing biology in front of you…and more biology […]
Brain cells called pericytes can be reprogrammed into neurons with just two proteins, pointing to a novel way to treat neurodegenerative disorders.
Making new neurons in the brain may not be as hard as once believed. Using just two proteins and without any cell divisions, scientists from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich succeeded in reprogramming brain cells known as pericytes into neurons in both cultured cells from humans and mice. The findings, published today (October 4) in Cell Stem Cell, could have implications for patients with degenerative brain disorders.
“We are not there yet, but the hope is that we can eventually treat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s by in situ reprogramming,” said Ludwig-Maximilians’ Benedikt Berninger, lead author on the study.
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The discovery that mature, adult cells can be reprogrammed back to an embryonic-like state has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It was awarded to two pioneers of stem-cell research, John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka.
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More good news from an often overlooked area of stem cell research, the impact of disease modelling in accelerating the production of new drugs and treatments
van Kopen et al reported a long term therapeutic rescue function in chronic kidney disease. An MSC produced conditioned medium, administered intravenously, decreased progression of CKD and reduced hypertension and glomerular injury.
In this study by Chae et al. published in the Biochemical Journal, 26 differentially expressed proteins were identified as being critical to the etiology of HD. In particular, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and peroxiredoxins are significantly affected, implying the significance of oxidative stress in HD.
Once again, the value of iPSC in disease modelling is demonstrated.